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Red Sox considering free agent A.J. Pierzynski

Nov 10, 2013, 10:13 AM EDT

a.j. pierzynski getty Getty Images

The Red Sox are known to have interest in free agent catcher Brian McCann, but they’ll be competing for his services against some of the richest teams in baseball so backup plans are being put in motion.

Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that the Boston front office has reached out to free agent backstop A.J. Pierzynski, who, unlike McCann, does not require draft pick compensation. Pierzynski is not a very good defensive catcher and his low walk rate does not fit the normal Red Sox offensive profile, but the eccentric 36-year-old has amassed 44 homers and 147 RBI in 269 games over the last two seasons, is as durable as any catcher in the league, and will likely come relatively cheap.

The Red Sox are seeking a catcher to either platoon with or start ahead of David Ross. Bradford says that free agent Carlos Ruiz may be an option, and re-signing Jarrod Saltalamacchia remains a possibility.

  1. proudlycanadian - Nov 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    “Eccentric” is one of many words that have been used to describe him. Unpopular and hated are others. On the other hand, I have read on occasion that his teammates like him.

    • jcmeyer10 - Nov 10, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Could be the Kevin Garnett/Joakim Noah effect. Hate to play against him but like to have him on your side.

      The question for the Sox is, can they keep going with this formula of bargain guys. They have a defensive catcher in Ross. If Ross can play closer to half the games, this could be a better idea than a monster contract+ draft pick for McCann.

    • jwbiii - Nov 10, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      “If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less.” – Ozzie Guillen

    • NYTolstoy - Nov 10, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      I remember watching a couple of spoofs on AJ. Teammates of his say he likes to talk trash to players when they get into the batters box. Mouths off to them every pitch or so and players just hate him. Teammates have said good things about him and their are worse assholes out there.

  2. 18thstreet - Nov 10, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Two old catchers? Guarantees too many at bats for Lavarnway.

    I’d like to propose as system whereby the fans of a given team can reject certain free agents in advance. Terrible idea. He’s a zero-tool player. He is — and this is too easy — a tool.

    • tuberippin - Nov 10, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      “I’d like to propose as system whereby the fans of a given team can reject certain free agents in advance. Terrible idea.”

      I agree. That is a terrible idea.

  3. sabatimus - Nov 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    I don’t want that jackass on the team.

  4. theskinsman - Nov 10, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Sorry, but I don’t think this is anything but someone in AJ’s camp trying to stir some interest. I do think he’d be a perfect fit in the bronx.

    • bertram00 - Nov 10, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      Sorry, he’s too young to fit in with the geriatric ward in the Bronx.

  5. slaugin - Nov 10, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    If we are letting Salty walk I’d rather get a catcher with better Defensive skills, and don’t want that McCann Contract/compensation. Give me a Ruiz/Ross Duo for the next 2 years until one of the 3 prospects separates themself as a legit MLB player

  6. theskinsman - Nov 10, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Salty should be resigned.He showed some improvement,and has some pop. Anytime a minor leaguer shows some promise,they can always play their way into the line up. McCann is old, AJ is old. The Sox need someone who is peaking or at least not going downhill fast. Let Varitek work with the kids this offseason and see if there is someone ready to slide into the roster.

  7. pastabelly - Nov 10, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    They have enough money that they don’t need to be looking for bargain basement guys like Pierzynski. Ruiz might be an upgrade on Salty, and it’s understandable that they don’t want to get into a bidding war for McCann.

  8. ossineke - Nov 10, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Pierzynski is the type of clown they would have gotten ridden of in the locker room purges after the 2011 season. AJ playing at Fenway would be a huge mistake

  9. skipcastaneda - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    Liked by his teammates? when he was with the Giants, the whole team hated him after he kicked the trainer in the crotch. He also called out the pitching staff on occasion. He is also awful as a broadcaster. What is Fox thinking?

    • thesportsjudge - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      The one who is “awful as a broadcaster” retired after calling the World Series.

  10. willyssox - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    AJ isnt good defensively based on what? And clearly the Sox dont think so, if they have indeed contacted his people. The reason they would move on from Salty would be because of his poor Defense. If AJ was as bad defensively as you seem to think then they wouldnt contact him.

    • stex52 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      Look at his Bref stats. He is not terrible defensively by any means, but he is not particularly good. Somewhat above a back up catcher but below a starter. Teams typically go for him for the offense.

      Of more concern to me would be his age and his general clubhouse issues.

  11. slaugin - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Saltys defense did take a big step forward this year. I think Ross was a big part of that. I wouldn’t be heart broken to se him leave, just not for this clown (AJ)

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